of the Week
word or phrase to add to your army.
I beseech (bee-seetch) you to continue reading my posts. In my last post, I beseeched you NOT to tell the world in general that you woke up nudiusturtian. Do you recall that? Now, with those two clues, can you think what the word beseech might mean?
I'll give you a multiple choice below:
A. I whisper you to continue reading my posts.
B. I tell you to continue reading my posts.
C. I ask you to continue reading my posts.
D. I beg you to continue reading my posts.
If you guessed "D. I beg you to continue reading my posts.", you would be correct!
To beseech is to beg, implore, plead, or generally strongly influence someone to do something.
My cat often beseeches me to feed her without using words. She does this by sitting on my hands as I type these posts to you, my lovely dedicated readers, when it is time to feed her. S
OK, time to feed Miss Elizabeth Bennet, a most influential cat!
Miss Elizabeth Bennet, or Lizzie, as we call her, is polydactyl.
See the next post to understand!
I woke up nudiusturtian (new-dee-uh-stir-shin). So did you, if you're reading this. But don't worry. It's not what it sounds like! It's quite innocent. This really, really deceptively funny word simply means the day before yesterday. I had no idea until I was exploring on GOOGLE for silly words that a word even existed for "the day before yesterday" or very recent past. Did you?
So, you can see, I'm right. If you are reading this, it means that you did wake up the day before yesterday and, therefore, you woke up nudiusturian.
Now, I beseech you. Don't go telling the general public that you woke up nudiusturtian!
If you are at all curious about the word beseech, well, tune in to the next word, in the series!
Abecedarian (ay-bee-see-dare-ee-in) is one of those fun words that in its same form can be either an adjective (describing a noun--person, place, or thing) or a noun itself. Another interesting thing is that it's pronounciation kind of gives you a clue to it's meanings. Say it out loud.
"A B C DARIAN"
Abecedarian as an adjective means simply in order, such as in alphabetical order. See what I mean? In A-B-C-D order.
As this giphy shows, an abecedarian artist grew up to be an architect, or someone who designs buildings and houses.
This pyramid of blocks is in abecedarian order, from top to bottom, reading left to right.
To have aplomb (a-plahm), is to be confident and self-assured, even in the face of chaos. It is not to have a juicy little piece of purple or green fruit. That would be to have a plum. That's a whole other thing. It is possible, however, to eat a plum with great aplomb, meaning, without getting pulp all over your face, grunting like a pig, and waving your arms in the air and shouting, "I love this luscious piece of fruit!" That would clearly be considered eating a plum without aplomb, something one should never engage in when in proper society. If, however, you want to eat plums without aplomb in the privacy of your own kitchen, knock yourself out. Well, don't really knock yourself out. That's just an expression. Perhaps we'll get into that later; but, do have a good time, nonetheless.
Many politicians practice excellent aplomb under pressure. People who have to go to court to testify are urged to use aplomb. Actors who win Oscars (Academy Awards) seldom exercise aplomb. More often than not, they get up there and go crazy because they generally don't expect to win and are caught by surprise and are overwhelmed and find it difficult to control their emotions.
Below are two examples; one of someone with aplomb; one without:
Hmmmm . . . can you tell who is acting with great aplomb? I bet you can! You are clever because you are one of Clive's tribe!
To be erudite (AIR-eh-dite), some say, is simply to be educated and learned, or a genius in some area of study. If that was the case, Bobby Fischer would be considered erudite. He, however, was far from the true meaning of this lovely adjective.
For those of you who aren't familiar with Bobby Fischer, he was a child and continuing prodigy (natural born genius) in the world of chess.
This is the introduction to a brilliant movie about a boy who is the anti-Bobby Fischer and the true meaning of the word erudite, Josh Waitzkin.
The reason he might be considered far from the true meaning of the word would be that it also includes a number of other qualities besides just really intelligent. It means civilized, discerning, illuminating, and wise. Bobby Fischer, for all his untouchable brilliance in chess, was considered by many to be boastful, hurtful, judgmental, and held most humans in contempt, which means he didn't think very highly of them, esteeming them to be inferior to himself.
This is a portrayal of Josh Waitzkin in that same movie, Searching for Bobby Fischer, showing his erudition. He knows he is going to win the final championship and so he offers his opponent a draw--an opportunity to share the championship. This is real humanity at work. He understands that he has a loving family and a life outside of chess. His opponent does not. He is kind, wise, enlightened, civilized; in short, he is erudite.
Now here's a fun word, whether you're into astronomy. medicine, art, or just playing out in the sun. The word is penumbra (pen-UM-bruh). An umbra is the darkest part of a shadow. The Latin prefix paene- means almost or nearly. So, if you add the Anglicized (made into English) pen- to umbra, you get penumbra or almost shadow. This is the kind of sub-shadow or soft shadow's shadow you see below:
Here's another simplified example of a penumbra.
Belfry (bell-free) is pronounced a little differently than it looks as though it might be. It looks as though it might be pronounced as a jingle you dropped in hot grease. While it does have to do with bells, it has nothing at all to do with boiling oil.
A belfry is the window part of a steeple that houses a bell, as on a church, cathedral, town square. schoolhouse, etc.
Some people are said to have "bats in their belfry." This is a not so kind phrase, meaning that they are insane or mad. Since bats like darkness and often fly around in belfries after dark, I suppose some unkind people think that those who are suffering with mental darkness have bats flying around in their brains, the upper part of their bodies or cathedrals. At any rate, I would steer clear of such a dark phrase!
But next time you drive by a belfry with someone you know, impress them with your knowledge of this architectural term!
A bat-free Romanesque double belfry
Flummox (FLUM-ucks) is one of my favorite words to use when I am confused, bewildered, puzzled, mystified, perplexed, or stunned, mostly at something silly someone has said. Then I like to shout out, "I'm so flummoxed right now!" or "You have me so flummoxed I don't know which end is up!"
Then, other times, when I'm feeling silly, I like to flummox my friends by speaking gibberish or nonsensical things to them, or pretending I misunderstand what they say and answer them back with something completely wrong.
Pulchritude (PULL-krih-tood) is an awfully awkward sounding word with just the opposite sort of meaning. If I told you that you possessed great pulchritude, would you consider it a compliment right off the bat? Probably not. You might even be tempted to huff away with hurt feelings. But don't be too hasty!
Pulchritude means (drum roll, please) physical beauty. Now, here's an interesting bit of trivia. The adjective for having beauty is beautiful. You might suspect that the adjective for having pulchritude would, therefore, be pulchritudiful. It is, in fact, not that word at all! It is a mouthful of a word. Are you ready? I'm going to tell you how beautiful you are using the pulchritude adjective. Ready? Are you sure? OK, then.
You are pulchritudinous!
Sorry. I didn't mean to shout. It's just that you are so dog-gone pulchritudinous I can hardly catch my breath!
No, no, no! Never hide your pulchritude from the world!
Twitterpated might sound like it has something to do with tweeting something on social media, and though you might do just that if you are twitterpated, as several gentemen have this week for this particular author, much to her dismay, it is actually a condition that can happen anytime and anywhere, but is often thought of as occuring in the spring.
When someone becomes completely head over heels over someone else, or finds themselves super-crushing on them, thinking about them non-stop, like I did my 6th grade math teacher, Mr. Purcell (Oh, he was so fine!!!), it is called twitterpated. I was twitterpated not only over Mr. Purcell in the 6th grade, but on several boys in high school. Nowadays, it takes a lot to get me twitterpated.
Oh, who am I kidding! I get twitterpated at the drop of a hat! What is a single old lady to do?
I am Becky Lyn Rickman. I am a writer because I love words almost as much as I love the people in my life. I want to fill the world with magnificent words and then jump in and splash around in them. I live with Mr. Bingley and Mr. Darcy, my cats, but the only words they really love are "meat" and "gravy."